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Edenton Street M. E. Church, South 


Edenton Street Sunday School 

of RALEIGH, N. C. 

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Joseph G. Brown 


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Foreword 9 

Introductory Word 11 

Joseph G. Brown (From the Church Bulletin) 17 

Address of Dr. W. P. Few 23 

Address of Hon. Josephus Daniels 29 

Address of S. Wade Marr 37 

A Tribute to Mr. Brown (By W. M. Upchurch, Jr.) 43 

Address of Mr. John A. Park 49 

Address of Chief Justice W. P. Stacy 53 

Presentation of Mr. Brown's Picture (Cale K. Burgess) 61 

Address of Rev. W. A. Stanbury 65 

Resolutions : 

Adopted by the Board of Stewards 73 

Adopted by First Quarterly Conference 74 

Adopted by Edenton Street Methodist Sunday School 75 

Adopted by the Mothers' Department of the Sunday 
School 78 

Adopted by the Workers' Council of the Sunday School.... 79 

(J o reword 


ON SUNDAY, February 6, 1927, Chief Justice W. P. Stacy, 
in his address to the Baraca-Wesley Class of Edenton Street 
Sunday School, paid tribute to the life and service of 
Mr. Joseph G. Brown. A stenographic report of that address 
was made, so that members of Mr. Brown's family might have an 
opportunity to read it. 

Before many days the suggestion was made that this address be 
printed, and a committee from the Baraca-Wesley Class was 
appointed to have this done. But many other tributes were paid 
Mr. Brown, and the suggestion followed that all such papers in 
any way coming from Edenton Street Church and Sunday School 
should be printed in a single volume, and a committee representing 
the Baraca-Wesley Class, the Sunday School as a whole, and the 
Board of Stewards for the entire membership of the Church, was 

We have collected these papers in as nearly the form in which 
they were originally given as possible, and in accordance with our 
request Reverend W. A. Stanbury has written an Introductory 
Word, giving the facts of Mr. Brown's life in outline. 

To the membership of Edenton Street Church and Sunday 

School, and to the community in general, we present the results 

of our effort in the prayer and hope that this volume may serve 

to fix even more securely the place which the memory of Mr. Brown 

universally holds among us, and to enforce forever the high 

principles of Christian manhood and of faith in God and man by 

which he lived. 

Dan W. Teeey, Chairman 

Miss Blanche Barringek, Secretary 

N". C. JSTewbold 

D. M. Penny 

Jno. A. Pare 

C. C. Cunningham 

W. G. Womble 


Introductory c lo) o r d 

THE PAPEKS Printed in this little book are the tributes paid 
to Mr. Joseph G. Brown by members and organizations of 
Edenton Street Methodist Church, Raleigh, following his 
death, January 30, 1927. There is included also the address of 
Dr. W. P. Few, President of Duke University, delivered at the 
funeral service held in the Church, Monday, January 31, at 4 
o'clock. To these have been added a few paragraphs which were 
printed on the last page of our Sunday Bulletin for February 6, 
1927, and an address delivered at a memorial service at Duke 
University, February 23. It will be recalled in this connection 
that Mr. Brown was for thirty years a trustee and for ten years 
President of the Board of Trustees of Duke University. Since 
these collected papers do not give, because their nature does not 
allow them, any ordered historical account of Mr. Brown's life, a 
brief summary of the main facts are set down here. 

Joseph Gill Brown was born in Raleigh, November 5, 1854, 
the son of Henry Jerome and Lydia Lane Brown. He was next to 
the youngest of a family of fourteen children. His great-grand- 
father on the maternal side was James Lane, a brother of Joel 
Lane, the original owner of the site of Raleigh. His mother was 
born on the farm on which Raleigh now stands. 

He received his early education in private school at Lovejoy 
Academy. In 1871 he entered Trinity College, then located in 
Randolph County, there coming under the influence of Dr. Braxton 
Craven, who was president of that institution. He continued here 
as a student for two years, and in 1873 became connected with the 
Citizens National Bank of Raleigh. In 1883 he was elected cashier 
of the bank, and in 1894 became president, continuing in the latter 
office until his death. He was also at the time of his death presi- 
dent of the Raleigh Savings Bank and Trust Company, the oldest 
savings bank in North Carolina. 

He was identified with public affairs as few men of his genera- 
tion, serving with distinction in every position for which he was 
chosen. He was at one time a member of the Board of Aldermen 

Introductory c ls) o r d — (3 ontinued 

of the Capital City, and for twenty-eight years he served as City 
Treasurer. He served as president of the Raleigh Associated 
Charities, president of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, presi- 
dent of the Raleigh Clearing House Association, and president 
of the State Bankers' Association. While the Jefferson Standard 
Life Insurance Company held its main offices in Raleigh he 
served as president of that organization. He was for nine years 
a member of the Executive Council of the American Bankers' 
Association. He served as vice-president, and at the time of his 
death was president, of the Atlantic Fire Insurance Company. 
He was a trustee of the Olivia Rainey Library and trustee and 
treasurer of the Methodist Orphanage. He was director of the 
Carolina Southern Railway Company, and served as president of 
the company until the Government took over the railroads in 
1917. He was chairman of the State Hospitals Board in charge 
of the State hospitals for the insane and the Caswell Training 
School. He was a member of the Columbia group of the Pan- 
American Financial Conference. He was a member of the Advisory 
Council of the Federal Reserve System, and during the war was 
chairman of the local executive committee of the Red Cross and 
chairman of the State Liberty Loan Committee during all of the 
five campaigns. He was at one time Grand Master of the Grand 
Lodge of Odd Fellows in this State. He always stood ready to 
serve, and in many ways, of which the public did not know, did 
serve, the State of which he was a native and loyal citizen. The 
present standing of the government of North Carolina in the 
financial world is perhaps more due to the influence and work of 
Mr. Brown than to that of any other private citizen. 

But there was no other connection which he prized so much as 
that with his Church. For sixty- five years he was a member of 
the Sunday School of Edenton Street Church. For fifty-eight years 
he was a member of the Church, and for fifty years' a steward. 
For twenty-seven years, and for twenty-three years consecutively, 
he was superintendent of the Sunday School. 


Introductory c lo) o r d — (3 oncluded 

His last act upon this earth was to make the announcement of 
the names of two children who were on that Sunday, January 30, 
being received as Cradle Eoll members of the Sunday School. 
Immediately after this he was stricken with apoplexy and died the 
same afternoon at 5 o'clock. 

On November 10, 1881, Mr. Brown was married to Miss Alice 
Burkhead, daughter of Dr. L. S. Burkhead, an honored member 
of the North Carolina Conference and for four years pastor of 
Edenton Street Church. Mrs. Brown survives him, as do their 
four children: Miss Bessie Brown, Mrs. J. K. Doughton, R. A. 
Brown, and Frank B. Brown. He is also survived by his sister, 
Miss Janie Brown, who lives with Mrs. Brown. 

No attempt has been made in these introductory paragraphs to 
appraise the life and work of Mr. Brown or to analyze the qualities 
which combined to produce his greatness. In some measure the 
papers which follow perform this duty, though none of them, nor 
all of them together, nor any of the words which have been spoken 
and written elsewhere, give any adequate account of the nobility or 
power or lovableness of this Christian gentleman and servant of 

I rejoice to have been permitted to take part in this labor of love. 

W. A. Stanbury. 


Joseph G. Brown 






From The Bulletin of Edenton Street Methodist Church for 
Sunday, February 6, 1927. 

The business world thought of him as head of a great banking 
institution and as trusted adviser for many corporations. The 
educational world thought of him as the patron of sound learning, 
and as president of the Board of Trustees of Duke University. 
Those intimately acquainted with civic affairs thought of him as 
a public servant, who in quiet and unrewarded ways brought his 
great ability and wisdom to the aid of those charged with carrying 
on the State's business. In social circles everywhere he was looked 
upon as a gentleman of surpassing charm and worth. 

But we knew him as a part of the life of Edenton Street 
Church. For sixty-five years he was a member of the Sunday 
School. For fifty-eight years he was a member of the Church, and 
for fifty years a Steward. For twenty-seven years, and for 
twenty-three years continuously, he was Superintendent of the 
Sunday School. ISTone of us now living have ever known Edenton 
Street Church or thought of it without him. He was the living 
personification, as he was the dominating spirit, of our Sunday 
School. There is no department or phase of our life as a Church 
which does not bear the touch and in one way or another express 
the spirit of his life. 

But chiefly we kneAv him as our friend. Probably he had the 
greatest capacity for friendship of any man whom most of us have 
known. He was the valued friend of great and learned men ; like- 
wise many in humble, hidden station reckoned him the best friend 
they had. Men who handled millions listened eagerly to his advice, 
and followed it. Widows with only a scrap of savings left after 
expenses of sickness and burial had been paid, found him with time 
to aid them, cheer them, and arrange for their protection. Boys 
and girls that wanted an education found him ready to help them 
with their problem. Children left without father or mother or 

Joseph (y. © r o w n 

home found in him a father who claimed them for his special 
charge. Two hundred and fifty of them standing at sad attention 
lined the street as the funeral procession approached the Church. 
Boys and men that had gone wrong and stumbled in the mire and 
snares of sin went to him with their discouragement and grief, 
and found him patient and full of comfort. He was everybody's 
friend ; even those who knew him but slightly felt intuitively that 
he was their friend. When we brought his body to the Church 
last Monday afternoon, men and women of the highest station 
mingled their tears with the tears of people whom life has struck 
its hardest blows ; the great throng had lost a friend. 

But he was pre-eminently the friend and companion of young 
people. For seventy—three years he was young in spirit, open to 
fresh ideas, in understanding sympathy with the hopes and view- 
point of youth. He gave them the warmth and radiance of his 
affection; in turn they gave him their confidence and stood ready 
to follow him anywhere. Countless hundreds of them through 
the years have felt the sweetness and power of his soul, and have 
gone out all over the earth to be stronger, better people because 
they have known him, and to count their fellowship with him as 
one of their dearest possessions. He never knew a single day of 
old age; all of life was for him an ascent, never a decline. He 
was standing at the highest point he had yet reached when he 
stepped up into the world above but still so near this. 

And let it be remembered that his life was saturated with the 
religion of Jesus Christ. There was no interest or concern that 
was held apart from the transforming influence of this experience 
and his tolerant but zealous faith. From crowded days he caught 
time to cultivate the knowledge of God and fellowship with His 
Son. It was most real to him, but as far removed from boast or 
pretending as possible. It was his habit of many years to arrive 
at the Church some time before the Sunday School hour, and, 
having said good-morning to any who had come early, to go to his 
pew in the Church and spend a while in Bible reading and 


Joseph (j. ^B r o w n 

prayer, in preparation for the worship and service of the day. 
No week-day was begun or ended without the upward look and 
moments of communion. He never seemed to lack strength or to 
suffer confusion. 

In the Sunday School building, where he had found his greatest 
joy in laboring, and where his last act had been to announce the 
Cradle Roll membership of two newly-born babies, he spent his 
last conscious moment. Just as the chimes were ringing out their 
invitation to come and worship, the call came to him. It found 
him ready. Could he have ordered the manner of his going, it 
would not have been different. 




Dr. W. P. Few 


JANUARY 31, 1927 


January 31, 1927. 

We are a great host gathered as we are here today for the last 
time about the body of our dear departed friend. We come from 
all professions and all ranks of life. We represent many varieties 
of opinion and experience. But we are all of one mind concerning 
Mr. Brown. He was one man about whom there can be no serious 
differences of opinion. We have here, too, a community of feeling. 
This man's death is the one "touch of nature" that makes akin 
practically the entire City of Raleigh and a large part of North 

Why this extraordinary uniformity of opinion and unity of 
feeling that we see here today? Mr. Brown was a normal man. 
He had the traits of character that make a universal appeal. We 
all stand in admiration and reverence before the oneness, the 
wholeness, the completeness of the man's life and personality and 
the issues of this harmonious development of the whole man in 
his activities, his character, and his influence. There were no 
moral, intellectual, or even physical "insurrections in his kingdom 
of man." His physical, mental, and spiritual constitution was not 
a house divided against itself. There was a consolidation of all 
his resources and a concentration of the last thing that was in him, 
and all this was always available whenever evoked by the crises 
of life. Whatever direction he might turn his effort at any given 
time, he was "all there." He succeeded in many ways, and he 
achieved success because he himself was success. 

In business he was very successful. Equipped as he was, how 
could it have been otherwise ? But even in business he worked not 
primarily for himself — he worked for others; for depositors, for 
patrons, for shareholders — for the public. Here was a man who 
spent a lifetime in business, working through approved business 
methods and achieving business success; and yet he was always 
concerned more for others than for himself. 

^Address of Dr. c lo). (p. ^ew at the funeral 

He gave himself unstintedly to public service in the best sense 
of those words. Throughout a long life he served his neighbors in 
countless ways, the city of Raleigh where he was born and where 
he lived all his life. He served the State many years and in many 
ways. He served important causes of the National Government, 
especially during the Great War. Indeed, I think he never 
recovered from the strain of the load he carried in those hard 
years. All this was done without expectation of reward. 

He was preeminently a servant of the causes of education. In 
1871 he entered Trinity College, now a part of Duke University. 
Prom that day until his death he served the institution through 
every stage of its development and in every sort of way — as loyal 
son, as patron, as benefactor, as trustee for thirty-four years, and 
as President of the Board of Trustees for ten years. He served 
other institutions. He was educationally minded. He had the 
spirit of youth and could work at the tasks of education with an 
understanding heart. He was the kind of man, the only kind of 
man, that can succeed or even be useful in intimate work with 
youth. He deserves to live among those who through guidance and 
inspiration of the young have most effectively served their day 
and generation. 

He had a deep religious nature and experience. Beginning here 
at this Church in boyhood, out through the State, and everywhere, 
he devoted his time, his money, himself to the Church, to the 
orphans, to charities, to all good works, "for the glory of the 
Creator and the relief of man's estate." He was earnest, but 
never narrow; he had intense convictions, but without a trace of 

What were the products of all this — of his rich inheritance in a 
strong body, a good intellect, and right tendencies; of his inner 
moral adjustment; and of the discipline of years rightly lived? 
One product was a mind that always ran true to form. He was 
finely adjusted to life, and this adjustment gave him a sort of 
moral instinct that carried him to his tasks with something of the 
inevitableness of the natural instinct that compels the bird to build 


^Address of <2)r. c lo). Cp. (Jew at the (Juneral 

its nest and to sing its songs. Thinking back, as I have been 
thinking for the past twenty-four hours, over many years of 
intimate association with Mr. Brown and others in tasks and 
problems that have sometimes been intricate and difficult, I have 
not been able to recall one instance when it seemed to me that he 
did not think straight and think through to right conclusions. 
This sort of intuitive wisdom does not come out of the intellect 
alone, but out of the full, harmonious development of all a man's 
capacities and powers. As we all well know, Mr. Brown had in 
an unusual degree this precious gift of unerring wisdom. 

Another product was an all-pervading goodness. He was rightly 
in tune with the infinite, and it seemed to be more nearly natural 
for him to do right than for almost any other man I have ever 
known. He lived here all his life. I dare now to challenge the 
memory of any of you — and I care not how long you have known 
him — can you recall many, if any, occasions when you felt that 
he did wrong? 

It has been said that the beautiful is higher than the good 
because it includes the good — it is the good made perfect. At any 
rate, Mr. Brown's inner character flowered also in beauty, a beauty 
that showed itself even in physical excellence. He had a clean and 
fine face that none but a good and wise man can ever wear. He 
had a personal charm and winsomeness. I recently heard a little 
boy say the men he loved most were his father and Mr. Brown. 
This is typical of the feeling of children, of youth, of adults. 
None knew him but to love him. 

The quiet, useful, and happy life of this man is an unanswerable 
argument of our Christian religion. That sort of living and 
witness-bearing on the part of Christians and a new emphasis by 
all our preachers upon the plain teachings of Jesus and upon 
Jesus himself as the Way of Life, and the Only Way of Life — 
these are the things for which this troubled age of ours is 
impatiently waiting, and these, too, are the things that would 
bring about the greatest revival of essential Christianity the 
world has ever seen. 


^Address of <2)r. c ls). (p. ^ew at the funeral 

There's the worth of this man's example, and there's the 
heritage of his life— sweet, abiding, consoling to all who knew him 
and who know of him in the after-years, to you his neighbors and 
friends, and above all to you, his sorrowing loved ones. May the 
blessed memories and the benedictions of his life go with you to 
the end ; and may the richest blessings of his God and Father, and 
yours and ours, be upon you now and always. 




Hon. Josephus Daniels 


FEBRUARY 13, 1927 

[Note: On February 13, 1927, a Memorial Service was held at Eden- 
ton Street Church. This service was conducted by the pastor of the 
church, and addresses were delivered by Hon. Josephus Daniels, 
S. Wade Marr, and W. M. Upchurch, Jr.] 


You cannot think of the Raleigh of yesterday, today, or 
tomorrow without thinking of Joseph Gill Brown. Before this city 
was dreamed of, his forebears lived in the primeval forests, cleared 
the fields, and hunted along the streams hard by the spot where 
stands today our stately capitol and this and other temples of 
religion. It was Joel Lane, his mother's great-uncle, who owned 
the broad acres where in 1770 the first Wake County courthouse 
was built on the hill across the way from Joel Lane's home. In 
1789 the Legislature, tiring of an ambulatory seat of government, 
directed that "an unalterable seat of government" should be 
located "as near as possible in the center of the State." On 
Friday, March 20, 1792, the commissioners bought 1,016 acres of 
land from Joe Brown's great-uncle, paying therefor $2,756. He 
could therefore have said of early Raleigh, "of which I was a 
part." Is it any wonder that Joe Brown had a passionate love 
for the very trees and soil of his native city? 

It is a matter of history that Willie Jones, friend of Jefferson 
and friend of Lane, was the dominating leader when Joel Lane's 
farm was chosen as the site of the State Capital. It is a further 
matter of history, and may be more than a coincidence in connec- 
tion with the Church home of Joseph G. Brown, that this same 
Willie Jones, who procured the purchase of his kinsman's land as 
the site for the capitol, donated the land upon which this Edenton 
Street Methodist Church stands. Willie Jones was not a Methodist, 
not even a professing Christian. It may be — who can tell? — that 
out of his regard for the Lane family he deeded property to a 
Church where descendants of this family have worshipped for a 
hundred years, a Church of which his own daughter was to become 
a communicant. 

We cannot envision the Raleigh of today without thinking of 
Joseph G. Brown. Material evidences are all about us — this 
Church and Sunday School room, the buildings and grounds of 

^Address of Stiff. (Daniels at the SY(emorial §>ervice 

the Methodist Orphanage, his home of comfort and hospitality, 
the Citizens National Bank, soon to be enlarged upon his plans, 
are some of his constructive works. More enduring than these 
are the lives into which he carried hope and light and blessing. 
It is in the lives he touched that tomorrow, though dead, he will 
still speak. It is, therefore, true that in its conception, in its 
development, in its future, Raleigh and Raleigh Methodism will 
owe a lasting debt to this good man. 

It would be a sad privilege if Christian faith, which gives 
assurance of blessed immortality, did not make it a sacred one, to 
pay homage to this noble man in this holy place made dear by his 
devotion. While Mr. Brown moved among us he was called the 
First Citizen of Raleigh. And so he was. 

This city has furnished not a few men of distinction. Can you 
recall one to the manner born who served his day so well or who 
gave it more honor than Joseph G. Brown? By the standard of 
success in business, or in large civic contribution, or in religious 
activity, or in garnering the love of his fellows, I can recall no 
man in all its history who outranks him. More learned men there 
have been, men more eloquent, men with larger possessions. But 
in the greatness of goodness, in securing and holding public 
confidence, in recognition abroad as well as at home, as a construc- 
tive leader, he was Raleigh's Abou Ben Adhem. And his name 
led all the rest for a similar reason : he loved his fellowmen. 

It is a proud claim that Raleigh moulded him, not alone to 
serve his own city, but to lead in the State and National gatherings 
of bankers, Church assemblies, or fiscal affairs of the great Govern- 
ment in the World War. Though he was Raleigh to the core, he 
was more. He never failed to measure up with the leaders in any 
assembly of which he was a member. 

Joe Brown was the perfection of Raleigh in its best expression. 
He possessed a rounded character that set him apart in any 
company. They looked at him twice and saw he was patterned in 
a lofty mould. Modest and unassuming, he had the merit of 
conscious power. He incarnated the city's highest ideals and best 


_y4ddress of J3Y(r. Daniels at the ^Memorial Service 

traditions. If a stranger had asked you, "Show us the finest fruit 
of the tree of your city?" the answer would be, Joseph G. Brown. 

The deity who presided at his birth showered gifts upon him — - 
beauty of person, charm of manner, graciousness, and the simple 
dignity that fitted him like a garment. To physical beauty he added 
the beauty of character, the expression on his countenance of that 
inward grace which attracted and held old and young. As the 
crown of his life there was the abiding quality of sweetness and 
friendliness which were the fruits of the indwelling Spirit of God. 
The Christian religion as he lived it was joy and peace. It gave 
serenity and assurance. It accounted for his consistent course. It 
was his sheet anchor, sure and steadfast. His religion was deep, 
his experience genuine, deep, clear, and though not given to 
speaking of it, upon suitable occasions he was not ashamed to give 
testimony to the faith that was in him. 

No written profession of what he believed could add to our 
confidence in his faith. It is comforting, however, to those who 
loved him, and will hearten others to know that when he looked 
Death in the face he could do so unafraid, because his faith never 
faltered. In the Spring of 1923 — on May 23d — following an 
illness at home, when on a visit to New York, Mr. Brown con- 
sulted a specialist, who found his condition serious. He returned 
to his hotel. Feeling that he stood on the portals of the next 
world, he made his will and wrote a letter to his beloved wife. 
The letter was never mailed. It was found last week with his will 
among his valuable papers. It was the most valuable legacy he 
bequeathed. There was one sentence in the letter, which comes to 
us as a message from our dead leader, which at my request I am 
permitted by his sorrowing wife to read to his friends. "I am not 
uneasy or worried," he wrote, after telling his wife of the doctor's 
diagnosis. "If the end comes — as come it must before many 
years — He will be with me, notwithstanding all my unworthiness. 
I have implicit faith in Him and in His abounding mercy and 


.Address of SY(r. (Daniels at the 3Y(emorial Service 

There may be a nobler profession among those handed down to 
us from the days of saints and martyrs, but I do not recall one. 
Compared to the possession of that steadying faith, made in the 
hour when he thought Death was near neighbor, what heritage of 
value would he have left his family, his friends, his Church, his 
city, his country? 

After his religion, which was the mainspring that guided all his 
actions and which alone explains him, there were two qualities 
which stood out preeminent. They were Loyalty and Cheerfulness. 
Loyalty to beliefs, to friends, to duty. He regarded Loyalty as the 
eleventh commandment. Without Cheerfulness life is a weary 
grind. Cheerfulness is the twelfth commandment. 

In his life there had come attractive offers to Mr. Brown to 
make his home in cities with larger opportunity to increase his 
fortune. He talked with me about one which most men in his 
position would have accepted immediately. His loyalty to the 
place of his birth forbade serious consideration. He held this 
loyalty and devotion as something more than houses and lands. 
Here his ancestors, his kin, had made their homes. His roots were 
deep. He could not think of uprooting them. It would have cut 
some ligaments of Loyalty for him to move. There was another 
attachment. "I could not," he said as we talked it over in Wash- 
ington, "be happy away from Edenton Street Church and Sunday 
School." Queen Mary said, "When I am dead, you will find Calais 
written upon my heart." She did not long more for Calais than 
Joe Brown for the welfare of his Church. 

His loyalty to the financial institutions of which he was the head 
was marked and unselfish. They had grown from small to large 
proportions. He was the chief asset of the banks he directed, 
though he was not the largest stockholder. If he had owned every 
share of stock in these financial institutions, he could not have 
shepherded the resources or husbanded them more conscientiously 
and efficiently. He had gone into the Citizens Bank fresh from 
college. He had been given marked trust by the chief owner. 
His loyalty held him to lifelong devotion to the trust reposed in 


^Address of jY(r. Daniels at the JXfemori&l Service 

him, though he would have become a richer man if all his talents 
and time had been devoted to a financial institution of his own, 
which he could easily have established. 

His loyalty to his college never weakened. Youth forges strong 
friendships. Love for the institution that opens doors of knowl- 
edge is permanent in fine characters. Joseph G. Brown held 
unbroken the love of college mates and gained their gratitude by 
his eminent service as Trustee of Trinity and afterwards as Chair- 
man of the Board of Trustees of Duke University. 

High over all was his loyalty to his Church as the temple of the 
living God. He had no narrow creed and loved all Christians, but 
his deepest affections were entwined about this Church and Sunday 
School. Here he had been born into the Kingdom, here his heart 
had been strangely warmed as he consecrated himself to Christian 
service. Here had been given vows when he was crowned with the 
happiness of a happy marriage for love. Here he had brought his 
children and solemnly dedicated them to God. Here he had 
rejoiced to see souls born again. Here for more than half a 
century he had led in everything that looked for the upbuilding of 
this Zion. Here for over half a century he had been teacher, 
officer, and superintendent of the great Sunday School which is 
today impregnated with his spirit. His loyalty made this house 
to him a very gate of Heaven. To many the very chimes sound 
mournful now that he is gone. 

The virtue of cheerfulness is much underestimated. It is a 
product of the Beatitudes. It is the oil that gladdens hearts and 
that prevents creaking in the human machinery. There are 
cloudy days for many and heartaches and disappointments and 
disillusionment. They need to feel the warmth of cheerfulness. 
The only balm to weary hearts is in the Christian religion. The 
only understanding of the value of that religion to most people is 
when it is seen in the faces and in the lives of those who profess it. 
The best sermon is a cheerful and clean life. Joseph G. Brown 
preached that sermon unconsciously every day of his life, alike 
to the millionaire and other business men who were associated with 


^Address of 3Y(r. Daniels at the jYfemorial S erv i ce 

him in business and to the youngest child in this Sunday School. 
"If religion gives the joy and glow Joe Brown radiates, it is the 
pearl of great price," was the feeling that brought many to 
embrace the Christian religion in this Church. How greatly we 
shall miss his sermons of good cheer ! It was given to our friend 
never to grow old in heart or spirit. He died with the dew of 
youth on his brow. Perfeet health for three score years made his 
step elastic. His interest in all things never abated. I could 
not associate him with feebleness or think of his fearing the things 
that are high. 

He died as he would have loved to die, welcoming a little child 
into his Sunday School, and passing without pain into the rest 
reserved to the people of God. 

It could be truly said of Joseph G. Brown what was said to good 
Doctor Amboyne, by the young man who was lifted out of despair 
to hope : "Talking with you is like drinking sunshine." 

The Arabian poet described Joe Brown when he wrote: 

"Sunshine was he 
In the winter day : 
And in the midsummer 
Coolness and shade." 




S. Wade Marr 


FEBRUARY 13, 1927 


If for no other reason than that Joe Brown came and went from 
this altar, I feel that I stand on sacred ground, and in the spirit of 
humility and under the consciousness of unworthiness, I put forth 
a feeble effort to express that which is inexpressible. Here we are, 
a powerful people, nurtured in a sanctuary crowned with a noble 
inheritance of Christian fellowship and loyalty; but just now we 
seem to hesitate. The eyes through which we seemed to glimpse 
heaven are closed. Till now we little reckoned that the way we 
have come is the way that Joe Brown, a man of God, has led us. 
For more than a half century he led because a noble people loved 
to follow his leadership. In this Church he has left a monument 
to his leadership. JSTothing endures without character. Edenton 
Street Church and Sunday School shall endure because deeply 
embedded in the fibre of its character there is a soul — and that soul 
the spirit of Joe Brown. 

God has given to young men few blessings so rich as the privilege 
of knowing Joe Brown. In seasons of distrust and in periods of 
doubt, when all the sacred teachings of a Christian home seemed 
to be quivering on the edge of chaos, and in the struggle of a soul 
to find itself, it was not at the altar of any great shrine that it 
knelt ; it was not the spiritual leadership of any great minister 
that it sought ; but there was a great beacon, a tower of the Bock 
of Ages at Edenton Street Sunday School. A plain man of power 
submerged in meekness and directed by a faith from Galilee. A 
man powerful in big business, willing to serve. A man, who 
having merited the faith of his fellowman, stood face to face with 
countless opportunities to accumulate the things of this world, 
but with a burning passion for those things which money cannot 
buy he saw no opportunities of value save in the lives of "the least 
of these," and to these at Edenton Street Sunday School he showed 
the way. And to hundreds of young men and women in doubt he 
has given a new vision of life dominated by a consciousness of 

^Address of \jY(r. Sy(arr at the 3Y(emorial Service 

the divine. No man could really know Joe Brown and be possessed 
with doubt. To come under the gentle influence of his serene faith 
and to catch a glimpse of his understanding ways was to find God. 

His contribution to mankind is being measured by the yard- 
stick which he gave. As we think of him and his relations to this 
community it does seem that towering brick-and-mortar monuments 
to his business leadership, which was without peer, crumble away 
in the presence of the veritable thousands who have learned from 
him the difference in a living and life. Yonder on Fayetteville 
street is a reminder of his living — here in these walls, which he 
made sacred for me, is a monument to his life. For nearly thirty 
years as Superintendent of this Sunday School he has done more 
to shape the destiny of a Christian people than any man who has 
passed this way. At the beginning of his life as Sunday School 
Superintendent this was a comparatively small school made up of 
young people with only enough older people to provide instruction 
to youth. But, with a high sense of responsibility toward his task, 
his personality began to popularize the work of the Sunday School, 
with the result that this good day has brought us a Sunday School 
just as attractive to old age as to youth. The bigness of the man 
came in an infinite capacity to comfort old age and inspire youth. 
His last official act as Superintendent was Cradle Boll announce- 
ments, and nothing seemed so close to his heart as the privilege of 
adding to the Cradle Boll the names of newly-born babes of parents 
who years before had joined in the same fashion. Mr. Brown 
found it easy to love babyhood, and counted it one of his highest 
privileges to have a part in shaping the lives of little children. 

Each succeeding year of his service brought richer fruit, and on 
the last Sunday of his earthly administration he was fuller of 
understanding than on the Sunday before. For youth he was an 
interpreting friend. He, himself, never grew old — ambition to 
serve was just as keen at the end as it was in the beginning. He 
thrilled in acts of service to young men and women, in whom he 
had an abiding faith and of whose problems he had always an 
immeasurable understanding. 


^Address of SMj- ^[arr at the Stfemorial Service 

In a Sunday School growing under his leadership from a mem- 
bership of 350 to over 1,700, there are many young people who 
find joy in service because they found in Mr. Brown a man who, 
with the accumulated wisdom and prestige of nearly three-quarters 
of a century, had kept his heart young, and understood. As I 
think of all these hundreds of young people today assembled in 
this Sunday School under the strain of an irreparable loss, I can't 
repress a consoling thought : how much richer in the vital elements 
of life are they for even a brief moment with him ! — their leader, 
because their friend. 

Of course, they are lost in the shadow. I, too, am lost. As 
sacred as this place may be in memory, yet somehow it's not my 
place just now. I'm lonesome here. I keep turning to find a face 
that is pictured in my mind along with that of my own father. 
But none of us would be worthy of the friendship which he gave if 
we did not dedicate ourselves to the task of carrying on the work 
which he distinguished with his loyalty. His place can never be 
filled, but the light of his character will encourage and the hope 
of his life will direct. 

The quiet of his manner impressed us with the worthiness of a 
life lived for God and humanity. Never excited by the whims of 
mankind, he slipped into our lives to reign as an inspiration and 
leave an influence like a spark of the divine. Loyal in such a 
quiet fashion that before Ave knew it his life became a benediction 
and we loved him — not in a lip service, but in the pulsations of a 
heart that beat in full appreciation for God's greatest gift to 
man — a friend. 

A day with Joe Brown was a day close to the Maker and Builder 
of all. I thank God that I was privileged to know him, and when 
I shall come to "the end of the trail," if I can know that some- 
where there is a friend who loves me as I loved him, the end will 
be sweet, because the way was not in vain. 




Mr. Brown— A Friend of the 
Young People 


FEBRUARY 13, 1927 


For a person ever to be interested in young people, he must be 
able to get their viewpoint and be able to walk with them in their 
youthful experiences. Surely there was none that could see with 
the eyes of youth or walk with the youth of the day, along their 
pathway of experiences, better than could Mr. Joseph G. Brown. 

A Sunday School teacher of girls once remarked to a worker 
with boys that she wished that the superintendent of her depart- 
ment would move a class of boys that had been near her. 

"Those mean boys worry me almost beyond expression !" she 

The other worker turned and replied, " 'Mean boys' ? Why, 
there never was a mean boy !" 

Surely there never was such a boy to Mr. Brown. Oh, yes, there 
might have been one or two that offered opportunities of service, 
but as far as being really mean — there were none. Why ? Because 
Mr. Brown was interested in youth ; he had the viewpoint of youth, 
and he understood the problems of youth. 

Mr. Brown always saw in young people something that could be 
used. He was Christlike in many respects. Surely one of the 
writers of the Gospels might have written a story about him and 
about his appreciation of the best in people. One is reminded of 
the story of Zaccheus, who though rich was despised by his fellow- 
men. He didn't think that even Jesus would care. But Jesus saw 
in him something that could be used for the Kingdom of God. And 
His words, "Zaccheus, come down ! I am going to eat dinner with 
you today," have been passed on to us as an expression of the true 
spirit of Jesus — the spirit of seeking out the best in people. Such 
was the spirit of Mr. Brown. Many a time he was the one that 
rested a helping hand on a drooped shoulder and with a kind, 
friendly word put life and hope into one that had fallen and sent 
him out into a new world of happiness. Countless numbers of boys 
and girls who, to the average man or woman, were just plain John 

^A tribute to St(r. <Brown by c (q). 3% Rlpckurch, gr. 

and Mary, with little promise or hope, were to Mr. Brown capable 
of attempting great things for God and of accomplishing great 
things for God. 

There never has been a successful worker with young people who 
was not enthusiastic — yes, even buoyant. Unless you can laugh 
with young people, unless you can even joke with them, they will 
not interest you. Many a man of three score years and ten would 
have lost his enthusiasm and his eagerness to try new ventures. 
His smile would have faded, and he would have built around 
himself an impenetrable shell of gloom. But not so with Mr. Brown. 
As he neared the end of his path of life his enthusiasm doubled, 
his eagerness grew beyond all bounds, his face became as a mirror 
reflecting the happiness, joy, and beauty of a Christian life. 

He was the easiest man to get close to that we have ever known. 
The youngest among us, however radical our ideas and suggestions 
might have been, were always assured of a patient and interested 
listener in Mr. Brown. Nor did he stop with listening alone. If 
there were any virtue in the plan suggested, he was willing to let 
youth, impetuous as youth sometimes is, launch out and try new 

But far greater than his enthusiasm, or his keen interest in 
young people, was his devotion to them. He held them close to 
his heart ; he was their friend and they were his. 

Some one once asked Mr. Brown, if he were going to make a talk 
at a certain meeting what would he like best to talk on. His 
answer was, "I would talk on love." It is easy enough to talk or 
preach a sermon on love, but few people can live one as did 
Mr. Brown. His whole life was an evidence of the principles of 
love and of friendship. There was no horizon to his love. His 
friendship knew not the bounds of creed or station; but to none 
did he give so much of his love, devotion, and friendship as did 
he to youth. In them he saw the fulfillment of his fondest dreams, 
the living expression of his most cherished ideals. Only he is 
truly great who, knowing his work cannot much longer be carried 
on by himself alone, sees in the youth about him the leaders on 


yi tribute to Jfr(r. (Brown by c (q). 3% ^pchurch, gr. 

whose shoulders he would place the tasks aud the opportunities of 
service that have been his. It was given to Mr. Brown to see into 
the future and so to prepare for the days to come that the youth, 
whom he loved and to whom he gave so much of his time and 
efforts, should carry on the work to which he dedicated the best 
of his life. 

The youth will miss Mr. Brown, but we are comforted when we 
know that he is sleeping the sleep of peace — "the innocent sleep, 
sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care." We shall miss him 
because he was our friend — and youth esteem and value nothing so 
much in this world as a real friend. Such a one is, as it were, 
another self, to whom we impart our most secret thoughts, who 
partakes of our joy and comforts us in our afflictions. A friend's 
company is an everlasting pleasure to us, for a friend may well be 
reckoned as the masterpiece of nature. "Friendship is love with- 
out his wings." 

Surely the poet must have been looking down through the ages 
and thinking of our own beloved Mr. Joseph G. Brown when he 
wrote : 

"God never loved me 

In so sweet a way before; 

'Tis only He who can such blessings send, 

And when His love would new expression find, 

He brought thee to me and said, 

'Behold ! A friend !" 




John A. Park 


FEBRUARY 13, 1927 

[Note: A Memorial Service was held in the Sunday School Sunday, 
February 13, 1927, at which time the following address was delivered 
by John A. Park, First Assistant Superintendent.] 


Although he was a man of diversified activities, the principal 
points of contact which Joseph G. Brown had with the world were : 
(1) his home, (2) his business, (3) his community, (4) his 
religious life. 

As a business man accustomed to dealing with big problems and 
large financial transactions, Mr. Brown himself had no aspirations 
to become wealthy. His advice on financial and business matters 
was always considered sound, and his counsel has been sought by 
many persons of this community. 

As a loyal citizen of his State and community, Mr. Brown 
demonstrated his intense loyalty and patriotism during the war 
period when our land was torn with stress and strife, giving his 
time and talents to the raising of enormous funds for war purposes. 
He served throughout the war period as chairman of the Liberty 
Loan activities in this State. Practically every civic and 
philanthrophic institution of the city utilized his services at one 
time or another. 

The modest home where his affections toward a loving family 
centered is not the home of a banker; it is not an example of 
extravagance; it is a true home where friendship and happiness 
have always been in evidence. 

Here at Edenton Street Sunday School I believe Mr. Brown 
received his deep inspiration, and it was here that he did the finest 
constructive service that has probably been done by any one man 
for this Sunday School. 

As active worker, teacher, and superintendent for more than 
half a century, Mr. Brown's influence, zeal, and accomplishments 
have placed this institution among the leaders of the entire State. 
Children who came under Mr. Brown's influence in their early 
lives, now grown up, are among those to whom his life has been a 
benediction. Although he was denied the privilege of intensive 
education, he for a period of ten years presided as head of the 
board of directors of what is probably destined to be one of the 


^he (jfour-Squ&re Sffan by ^folin ^A.. Cp&rk 

greatest educational institutions on this earth. In Sunday School 
he was always a teacher and always a student — his youthful spirit, 
never became too old to learn, or to teach. 

His last official act, consummated on this spot two weeks ago, 
indicated his love for the Sunday School and his interest in 
children ; when he concluded an announcement of new members in 
the Cradle Roll Department, on being asked if he had anything 
else to say, his reply was, "There is nothing else that I have to say." 
That closed his long, useful career in a quiet, peaceful way that 
was typical of the man's entire life. 

We are going to miss Joseph G. Brown from this Sunday School. 
His place will be hard to fill. The heritage which he has passed on 
to us is an inspiration that will urge us to carry on as he planned 
in the past. 




Chief Justice W. P. Stacy 


FEBRUARY 6, 1927 


(The International Uniform Sunday School Lesson for the day was 
The Parable of the Talents.) 

The scene of our lesson is the Mount of Olives. Those present 
are the disciples and Jesus of Nazareth. St. Matthew records that 
the disciples came to Him privately. They said to Him (stating 
it in my own language) : "Master, tell us something more about 
this doctrine of immortality which you have been teaching us. Is 
it really true that we shall live hereafter? If you are going away 
(and you say you are), and you expect to return, what sign shall 
be given to us of your second coming? What token shall we look 
for which will denote the end of the world ?" As was His custom, 
He answered the disciples in parables, first using the parable of 
the fig tree and then the parable of the ten virgins, and thirdly, 
the parable of the talents. 

The time is but a short while before His crucifixion. "For the 
Kingdom of Heaven," He says, "is as a man traveling into a far 
country" (the word "man" there refers to the Man from Galilee) 
"who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods. 
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another, 
one ; to every man according to his several ability ; and straightway 
took his journey. 

"Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with 
the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise, he that 
had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had 
received one, went and digged in the earth, and hid his Lord's 

"After a long time, the lord of those servants coineth and 
reckoneth with them." 

You remember the remainder of the parable with respect to the 
servants who had been given the five talents and the two talents, 
and the encomium, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" ; 
and also with respect to the one who had been given one talent and 

^Address of Qhief justice C W. Cp. Stacy 

used it not. I should like for us to get the view and the significance 
of the words uttered. I think I do no violence to the understanding 
of some when I say that this passage of scripture has been widely 
misinterpreted. Mind you, He starts out by saying: "The King- 
dom of Heaven" — not Heaven, but its kingdom — "is as a man 
traveling into a far country." (He, Himself, was to take His long 
journey pretty soon.) And he calls about him his servants and 
delivers to them certain talents according to their several abilities. 
And after a long time the lord of those servants cometh and 
reckoneth with them. You recognize at once that the emphasis 
here is placed upon the use of the talents, and whether or not the 
holders of those talents have increased them and added to their 
worth. You are all familiar, no doubt, with the debate as to 
whether the Man from Galilee made any contribution to the King- 
dom of Heaven by His coming to earth, exercising divinity itself, 
and then returning. In other words, the debate has been as to 
whether a man, being divine already, could, by the assumption of 
human form, add anything to his own divinity. 

That question need not trouble us, nor is it difficult of solution. 
It is not a question of whether He, by assuming finite form, made 
any contribution to the Kingdom of Heaven, but whether ive shall 
make any contribution. 

The desire for immortality (and that's the lesson of the talents) 
is as universal as the race. It furnishes the incentive for every 
code of morals and the inspiration for every system of religious 
faith. The Indian longs for his "happy hunting ground" ; the 
orthodox Jew contemplates restful repose upon Abraham's bosom, 
and the devout Christian, with ears of faith, listens for the plaudit, 
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Without this belief 
in and desire for immortality men might well question the fruit- 
fulness of the use of the talents which have been given to them. 
Take away from men their belief in immortality and you have but 
a sordid purpose, but a material end to be achieved, and a weak 
will to serve. Indeed, the will to live itself would be greatly 
lessened. But a man may by his own efforts, and by the manner 


^Address of Qhief justice C W. Cp. §)t&cy 

of the use of the talents which have been given to him, determine 
in a measure the character and the content of his own immortality. 
The use which he shall make of the talents entrusted to him is the 
contribution which he shall make to the Kingdom of Righteousness. 
And above all, no man wants to fail in the responsibility of 

There is a divine purpose running through the lives of men. 
And of however little moment my existence or my being here may 
be to others, I can but think that it is in accord with the purpose 
of the universe, and every man must render in the end an account- 
ing of his stewardship. 

To every man upon this earth death comes, soon or late. It is 
but a part of life itself — it is but a continuation of that which has 
already begun. The Grim Reaper is no respecter of persons. He 
calls with equal tread at the cottage gate and the palace door. The 
high and the low, the young and the old, he visits them all. He 
presses their eyelids down with dreamless slumber and they sleep 
with the hush of the generations. 

On last Sunday, in this very building, the Messenger of Death 
summoned our beloved Superintendent from the work he loved the 
best and decreed for him that his days here should be no more. 
But our friend is not dead ; he is only gone to take his place in the 
schools above, there to mingle with the spirits of just men, made 
perfect. As long as the spire of this church shall point upward, 
and as long as men, women, and children shall attend Edenton 
Street Sunday School, he will ever live in the hearts of his country- 
men, for even in the kingdom of childhood, and with those who 
would come to this place that they might know something of the 
teachings of the Master, as he himself glimpsed bits of the truth 
and transmitted them to his associates and to his students, he was 
building a monument more lasting than marble and more enduring 
than bronze. 

Raleigh is a better place for his having lived in it. Banking in 
this community is safer because of the use of his talents in that 


^Address of Qhief justice c [q). (p. ^tacy 

field. Yea, the religious life of this community is richer, and men 
go about their work, to their places of business, with a feeling of 
greater security because he labored here. 

There was about him the meed of gentleness and the fruit of 
strength; the courage of the true and the stamina of the great; 
the heritage of the meek and the harvest of the bold. Truly, a 
noble soul! Which element predominated we scarcely know. He 
gave a helping hand to all sorts and conditions of men. And long 
may it remain in this mixed world a moot question, or at least a 
point not easy of decision, which is the more beautiful evidence of 
the Almighty's goodness, the delicate fingers that are formed for 
sensitiveness and sympathy of touch and made to minister to pain 
and grief, or the strong masculine hand that the heart teaches, 
guides, and softens in a moment. 

Many of you remember him just two weeks ago standing on this 
platform, speaking to you, preaching the gospel which he had 
preached for more than a half century in this building, the gospel 
of simple, right, and honest dealing. The worth of such a man 
cannot be measured by any yardstick known to us. Words them- 
selves are but feeble instruments to convey the meaning of a great 
life — and it is a serious matter when a great life goes out ! Some 
of you know that in the great financial centers of this country, 
where men deal in large denominations, the opinion and word of 
Joseph G. Brown were like current coin, because those men had 
learned to know that whenever he made a statement, it was true; 
and the credit of the State of North Carolina has been enhanced 
by his character and integrity. Not only that, but throughout the 
length and breadth of this commonwealth and beyond its borders, 
men and women owe their conception of right to his teaching. You 
approve or condemn the conduct of your neighbor according to 
your estimate of right, and your neighbor approves or condemns 
your conduct according to his estimate of right, the correctness of 
the judgment in each case depending upon the correctness of the 
standard by which it is made. As thus understood, human 
judgment imposes an universal obligation. It is as much a duty 


^Address of (Bhief justice C W. (p. §>ta,cy 

to see that right judgment is rendered to your neighbor as it is to 
demand it for yourself, and to fail in either is an immoral act. 

Our friend was a delightful companion and a man wholly 
without guile. It was good to he in his presence. There is no 
wealth comparable to that of loyal comradeship. It is the divine 
gift that makes the poor man rich, and without which the master 
of a world would be poor indeed. He believed in a gospel of 
justice, in a religion of morality, and in the efficacy of instant 
reliance on a Greater Power. This was the real source of his 
strength and effectiveness. "No man has earned the right to 
intellectual ambition who has not learned to lay his course by a 
star which he has never seen, to dig by a divining rod for springs 
which he may never reach." Four-square to every wind that blew, 
he was the soul of honor, high-minded, straightforward, clean-cut, 
and withal a great-hearted fighter for the right. The lives of many 
have been enriched by the rare charm of his friendship, and in 
the hearts of those who knew him best his immortality will abide. 

Great is the reward of a life well spent, and its usefulness is not 
lost in the democracy of death. There is an indescribable essence or 
something that lives on. It refuses to die in the hour of darkened 
shades and in the evening of twilight shadows. From the grave, 
where "Victors' wreaths and monarchs' gems all blend in common 
dust," it flies away and becomes an asset of priceless measure — the 
full sheaves of a golden harvest. 

Our friend is dead, but the value of his friendship still lives. 
His lips are voiceless, but his immortality still speaks. His work 
on earth is done, but the influence of his life lives on. 

"Death is the veil which 
Those who live call life; 
They sleep, and it is lifted." 

Such is the parable of the talents. 




Mr. BROWN'S Picture 


JUNE 19, 1927 

[Note: On June 19, 1927, Mr. and Mrs. James E. Thiem and their 
son, James Thiem, Jr., presented to the Sunday School a finely finished 
portrait of Mr. Brown. The address of presentation was made by 
Cale K. Burgess.] 


It is not our purpose on this occasion to attempt any eulogy of 
our late Superintendent, for lie needs no eulogy at our hands. His 
life and his work in the Edenton Street Sunday School established 
for him a memorial more lasting than either bronze or granite; 
he built for himself in the hearts of children a memorial that will 
neither tarnish with the bronze nor crumble with the granite. 

I have been asked to present to this Edenton Street Sunday 
School a picture of our late Superintendent. The donors of this 
picture are Mr. and Mrs. James E. Thiem and James Thiem, Jr. 
Mr. Thiem is one of the nephews of Mr. Brown, and I wish to say 
for the donors of this picture that it is their hope that it may be 
a blessing to this Sunday School. 

And, as I look upon this picture, placed at the very entrance to 
this rostrum, there is something in me that tells me that this gift 
will be of value to this Sunday School. I feel that it will be a 
source of inspiration to our present Superintendent and to all those 
who succeed him in official leadership of this School. As our 
Superintendent stands on this rostrum from Sunday to Sunday 
endeavoring to lead in our work in this School I feel that it will 
be an inspiration to him to know that a likeness of liis distinguished 
predecessor is standing immediately to his right ready and anxious 
to aid and support him on all occasions, watching every movement 
in which he undertakes to lead this School and forever bidding 
him Godspeed in every undertaking. It will forever be an 
inspiration and blessing to our Superintendents to know that the 
eye of their distinguished predecessor is resting upon them and that 
his blessings and his benediction will forever follow them. 

The presence of this picture within this room will bring even 
greater blessings to this School. As we assemble in this auditorium 
from Sunday to Sunday and as we attempt to worship here and 
carry on the work of this School, we shall be inspired by the 
presence of this likeness of our beloved leader. When we look into 
his face we shall be reminded of the faithfulness and the prompt- 

(presentation of Jfrfr. brown's (picture 

ness with which he came to this House of Worship, and we shall be 
reminded of the earnestness and the sincerity that characterized 
his movements among us. We shall be inspired by the knowledge 
that though he has passed away yet he abides with us, and that as 
we endeavor to worship at this shrine his spirit will ever hover 
about us, and support us, and bid us to carry on this splendid work 
as God would have us do. 

And finally, just now, as these children from the Primary and 
Junior Departments Avere marching through these aisles and 
assembling in the crowded spaces in this room this concluding 
thought impressed itself upon me; there was never a scene so 
beautiful in the eyes of our late Superintendent and there was 
never anything that so pleased his soul and brought light to his 
countenance as to see these little children marching through these 
aisles from Sunday to Sunday. Their innocent and gleeful 
presence always seemed to be the sweetest feast to his eyes and 
his soul. And I know that his likeness abiding here, near the 
seat that he always occupied, will forever be an inspiration and 
a blessing to these children and to their children as they march 
through these aisles through all the years that come. In fact, 
it seems to me that this room would look strange to these 
children if they could not see here the face of their beloved 
Mr. Brown. If he were living this morning, we know where he 
would be; but somehow I feel this morning that he is still with 
us and that as he witnesses this occasion it brings joy to his soul 
to know that one of his nephews has been thoughtful enough to 
present this gift to this Sunday School and thereby make it possible 
for us to have with us forever a symbol of his presence among us. 
I know that it would please him to abide with us and to know 
that even his likeness is still near this rostrum; and with his own 
eye he can continue to look into our faces and continue to follow 
through these aisles the foot steps of these little children whom he 
loved so dearly. It is the hope and prayer of the donors of this 
picture that it may forever be an inspiration and a blessing to 
this Sunday School and to all those who worship at this place. 




Rev. W. A. Stanbury 


FEBRUARY 23, 1927 

[Note : At a Memorial Service held in the chapel at Duke University, 
Durham, February 23, 1927, one of the addresses was delivered by 
Rev. W. A. Stanbury, pastor of Edenton Street Church. This address 
follows :] 


In a little poem written as a tribute to his wife more than a 
hundred years ago, William Wordsworth said, giving his concep- 
tion of a perfect woman : 

"The reason firm, the temperate will, 
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill ; 
A perfect woman, nobly planned 
To warn, to comfort, and command." 

It has not been our lot to see a man to whom such a description of 
perfection might have been more fittingly applied than Mr. Joseph 
G. Brown. His very appearance, his manner, and all his conduct 
bore witness that he was "nobly planned." He came into the 
world with a goodly heritage, which heritage he husbanded and 
added to for seventy-three years, not wasting even the smallest 
fraction of it. Strong, far-seeing, skilled in the highest arts of 
life, he commanded without seeming to do so, and brought comfort 
and assurance to human souls with no apparent effort. In what- 
ever group he was found, he was easily first. If there was a 
gathering of bankers — and he was a banker — he was first among 
them. If he attended a dinner of the Chamber of Commerce, he 
was easily distinguished above all others present. If he was in a 
group of educators, while he might not have laid claim to the 
profound learning and specialization of experts and scientists, in 
wide understanding of life and in enthusiasm for sound learning 
and right education he was not excelled by any of them. If he was 
in a group of religious leaders of his own church or other churches, 
there was no man who stood above him. 

Through nearly twenty years it was my privilege to know him. 
And from the first to the last, I was impressed with the soundness 
and balance of the man. There were no shadows or spots of 
suspicion in him. Through and through he was what a man ought 
to be. There was nothing to hide, or of which he ever had cause to 
be ashamed. 

^Address of ^Hev. c l&. yL. Stanbury 

To us all it was a constant marvel how finely balanced were all 
the powers and concerns of his wide-flung life. Most of us are 
one-sided, lop-sided beings. But he seemed fully rounded on all 
sides, with nothing left out or dwarfed, so that every element of 
his being stood in just relation to all the rest, and did not suffer 
disturbance or confusion, whatever shock might come to him. No 
one ever saw him in panic or thrown out of plumb. In complete 
possession of all his splendid powers, he met every new demand 
with such calm and sureness as were the amazement of those whose 
souls had not found the secret which he knew. In such poise and 
with ever-increasing and never-failing vigor, he moved always 
forward and stood, when the call to depart came, at the highest 
level of personal majesty and influence that he had yet reached. 

If the reason for such soundness and sureness of life be asked, it 
must be acknowledged that none of us can tell why completely. 
Invisible forces beyond the reach of this narrow life play their 
part in ways we cannot measure, to produce such worth and such 
stuff of life. But let it be remembered that Mr. Brown was a man 
of ideals. He did not boast of them. He did not even speak of 
them, unless pressed to do so. But no one who knew him even 
slightly ever doubted that he kept before him as a goal to be striven 
towards the highest in thought and character and service. He was 

"Whose high endeavors are an inward light 
That makes the path before him always bright ; 

^c tj; :J: ^ :£ 

He labors good on good to fix, and owes 
To virtue every triumph that he knows." 

When other men were uncertain and flirted with the temptations 
of compromise, when they yielded to the subtle bids for profit and 
advantage, he stood for right. He seemed never to have had to 
debate the question as between right and wrong, justice and 
injustice. The process of reasoning as between the two, or as to 
what was right, seemed to have been carried through long before, 


^Address of ^Rev. c lo). ^A. S^ anoui y 

and decision stood ready at the moment. Quite gentle towards 
those who might differ, he stood erect with a vigorous sense of 
right, and in defense of right never hesitated to strike such blows 
as needed to he struck, which blows were all the more telling 
because they were backed by love. Without anger, without malice, 
without fear, he knew at once how to be indignant against wrong 
and how to win to the side of truth those who were mistaken. 
Men were never offended or affronted by his insistence upon right 
and justice and the highest; but no man ever doubted that he 
cherished the loftiest ideals, or that he had the courage to stand 
unflinchingly for them. 

And then he kept all the way through the spirit of youth. The 
idealism, the hopefulness, and the enthusiasm of youth never 
departed from him. In the years of life when so many men let 
down below the level of their early ideals, he held up and held 
true, refusing to be disillusioned or to grow hard and merely 
practical. His openness of mind and his freshness of view were 
written upon his face. Young men and women, who by the 
thousands passed under his care in Sunday School and in other 
places, found in him one who understood, who was not impatient 
with the hot impetuousness of young blood, and who sympathized 
with youthful hope. Through fifty years they came to him, giving 
him their closest confidence and asking his advice not as one who 
stood superior and aloof, but as one of their own company. To the 
last his mind was awake to fresh ideas and new proposals and 
friendly to all steps of progress. He was ready for adventure, and 
while always wise and careful, never went upon the assumption 
that caution is the better part of valor. Among the last things 
he did were to plan larger things for the banking business with 
which he had been connected for more than half a century, to map 
out new things for his Sunday School and Church to do, and to 
participate in this great adventure of education here, in which Ave 
all hope to have some little part. The last thing he did was to call 


^Address of ^Rev. c lo). _A. §)tai%bury 

the names of two new-born babies, enrolled that day in the Sunday 
School of which for sixty-five years he had been a member, and 
nearly thirty years Superintendent. 

Another secret of his power was his capacity for friendship. 
Those who had but slight acquaintance with him felt intuitively 
that he was their friend. Those who knew him best looked upon 
him as their best friend. Over and over again as I have walked 
the streets of Raleigh since his passing, men who come from all 
walks of life have said to me, "He was the best friend I ever had." 
When we gathered at the Church under whose tower he had so 
long worshipped, old men trembling with age and shaken with 
grief mingled their tears with the tears of mere boys and girls, 
because they had lost a friend. Men who handled millions, and 
women who have known only luxury, sat beside those who have 
known only poverty and pain, and all mourned together because 
they had lost a friend. Men have always felt and acknowledged 
the power of those in whose hearts dwell the elements that make 
them to be friend to other people. I once heard Mr. Brown 
referred to as the best beloved man in North Carolina. I think 
the statement was justified. 

Sound and finely balanced, urged on by the highest ideals, 
seventy-three years old, but always young, broadly gathering into 
his affections all who wanted a friend, whatever their class, con- 
dition, or creed, Mr. Brown kept at the very heart and center of 
life a simple and mighty faith in God. His religion did not obtrude 
itself. It rather shone. It did not employ many words, but when 
words were needed, they were not lacking and were spoken with 
sincerity. Tolerant, broad-minded, kind to all who differed, he yet 
knew in Whom he believed and did not doubt. More real to him 
than the gray walls of the bank where he worked so long, more 
real to him than the trees of Nash Square under whose branches 
he went to and fro on his journeys to business and back home, 
more real to him indeed than the Sunday School where each 
Sunday morning a thousand pupils looked to him for leadership, 


.Address of ^ev. c lo). yl. ^tanbury 

or the Church whose walls he saw rise in early manhood and whose 
every moment of history he loved — more real than all of these was 
his religious experience. 

As trustful as a child, and as strong as a martyr, he followed 
implicitly in the steps of Jesus of Nazareth. Four years ago when 
he thought death was near, he wrote to his wife : "I am not 
uneasy or worried. If the end comes — as come it must before 
many years — He will be with me. Notwithstanding all my un- 
worthiness, I have implicit faith in Him and in His abounding 
mercy and love.'' I remember saying in a conversation with a 
friend sixteen years ago, "Mr. Joe Brown is the best argument for 
the Christian religion I know." I have not had occasion to revise 
that judgment since. There was no activity or contact in all the 
varied interests of his life which did not feel and transmit the 
sweetness and power of this beautiful thing which lived in his 

If you could have been a student at old Trinity in 1871, and if 
you had looked over the roll-books of the old college, you would 
have found the name of Joseph Gill Brown of Raleigh. It would 
not have meant much to you then. You would have said, "He is 
another one who has come to be enrolled in the freshman class." 
But through the years that name has been gathering influence and 
beauty in this State and this nation. It was changed by those who 
knew him and ultimately by everybody to "Joe Brown." And 
today that name stands as the synonym and summary of what is 
best in the social, economic, and religious life of this common- 
wealth, and as the expression in concrete figure of the ideals 
which we should all like to see this University hold before herself, 
and perpetuate in the world. To that name wrought into the 
great spiritual body of this University and of her sons and 
daughters everywhere, we do honor today. We thank God for 
the gift of this man to us, and gird ourselves that we may carry on. 



[Note: These resolutions were adopted by the various organizations 
and official boards of the Church.] 


February 8, 1927. 

Resolved, That the Board of Stewards of Edenton Street 
Methodist Church record with great sorrow the passing of its 
fellow member, Joseph Gill Brown, identified with the work of 
the Church for more than three score years. It grieves with the 
family in the great loss which has come to them and the Church. 
A man of unusual physical, mental, and soulful personality; quiet 
in manner, wise in counsel, faithful to every trust, persevering in 
good works, he, like St. Paul when he faced the Great Beyond, 
could say : "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, 
I have kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown 
of righteousness." 

Further, that it is peculiarly fitting that this Board, with whom 
he labored for so many years and to whose work he gave so freely of 
his substance and counsel, should perpetuate on its record a page 
to his memory, voicing our great love for him and the inspiration 
and value he has been to us, the Church, and the State. 

Few men possessed such lovable characteristics as were his and 
rendered such faithful and valuable sendee to his fellowmen: a 
man, who in letter and spirit followed in the footsteps of the 
Man of Galilee. In him the great Christian virtues of Faith, 
Hope, and Charity took root in boyhood, and grew and flowered in 
the fulness of their beauty in his manhood. 

In his going from our midst there is imposed upon each and 
every one a greater responsibility, and, to meet it, we hereby 
reconsecrate and rededicate our lives to greater service in the 
Master's vineyard in order that there may be no lowering of the 
high ideals which he held up, not let-up in the forward move of 
the Church in which he was such an inspiring figure. 

No monument of brass or marble or precious stones is needed to 
perpetuate his memory. Any inscription that may be chiseled on 
cold marble or stone to portray his many virtues will be but a 
faint and imperfect reproduction of the epitaph which he himself 
has already indelibly written on the hearts of all with whom he 
came in contact — an epitaph written by the finger of God. 

C. A. Dillon, Chairman. 
C. C. Cunningham, Secretary. 




March 8, 1927. 

Whereas Mr. Joseph G. Brown was for fifty years a member of 
the Board of Stewards of this Church, and, therefore, a member of 
this Quarterly Conference; and 

Whereas he was for approximately the same length of time a 
member of the Board of Trustees; and 

Whereas he was for twenty-seven years, and for twenty-three 
years continuously, Superintendent of this Sunday School; and 

Whereas, throughout this long period of official relationship to 
our work, he rendered a service quite unparalleled and beyond all 
words to define or describe ; and 

Whereas, by his personal qualities of friendship, companion- 
ableness, and unselfish love, he endeared himself to our entire 
community; and 

Whereas his ripe wisdom, deep devotion, and all other of his 
unusual powers and qualities were given without stint in the 
service of this Church and Sunday School : Therefore, 

Be it Resolved, by this Quarterly Conference: 

That in his death, which occurred on January 30, 1927, we have 
sustained a loss which we cannot put into words ; and 

That while we are stricken with grief which we are unable to 
express, we thank God for the gift which He made to us 
individually and as a Christian community in the life and service 
of Mr. Brown; and 

That we extend assurances of our deep sympathy to all members 
of his family; and 

That we pledge ourselves afresh to the work of this Church 
which Mr. Brown served so long and devotedly, and, by the help 
of God, to those spiritual ideals which were so beautiful and so 
dominating a force in his life. 

Signed, and respectfully submitted, 

John W. Evans 

W. G. Womble 

J. Martin Fleming. 




February 13, 1927. 

(Mr. Josephus Daniels read the following resolutions which were drawn 
up by a committee composed of Dr. Albert Anderson and Mr. 
Daniels. ) 

!Not many weeks ago, by official action, Joseph Gill Brown 
was elected Superintendent of Edenton Street Methodist Sunday 
School "for life." It was a formal recognition of his long and 
whole-hearted dedication of himself to the direction of the child 
life of this Church. It was also an expression of the love that 
welled up in every heart to our Superintendent and of gratitude 
for the benediction of fellowship with him. 

Joseph G. Brown's connection with this Sunday School was 
about co-equal with his life. With that quiet humor and sweet- 
ness characteristic of him, Mr. Brown once said he was born on 
Sunday morning about 9 o'clock, hastened to be on time for Sunday 
School, and had made it a rule ever since never to be late. Cer- 
tainly there is no member of this Sunday School who can 
remember when he was not here, giving glad welcome to new- 
comers and cheerful greeting to old and young, stimulating them 
to the study of the Word and to making the Bible the light to 
their pathway. In this more than three score years when he was 
rarely absent, and never absent when it was possible to be present, 
he touched the lives of many thousands, young and old. He never 
touched any life that was not blessed by association with him. 

The sorrow of this company of Bible students cannot be 
assuaged, but if any reflection could lessen the grief it would be 
that our Superintendent and friend never grew old. The springs 
of youth and faith were fed from the Source of Strength in his 
whole life. He was the comrade of those upon whose heads the 
snow that never melts had fallen, and his cheerfulness gave them 
a new zest. He was the coworker of those in active life, and his 
example gave them the enthusiasm of youth. He was the confidant 



and friend of young people, who obtained strength and faith from 
him. He was the beloved of little children because he followed 
the example of his Lord, and found delight in their wonderment 
and never-ending charm. He was made happier by their simple 
faith. He was more than the beloved friend and leader of all in 
this Sunday School : he was in a very real way its founder in its 
larger life. Half a century ago the Sunday School was called 
"the nursery of the Church" and attendance was confined to chil- 
dren and a few teachers who shepherded them. Under Mr. Brown's 
leadership the Sunday School outgrew the Church in membership 
and became a vital center of religious life. 

His organizing talent was scarcely less than his gift of drawing 
out the love and devotion of his associates. He found this a place 
of a few consecrated teachers and a few score children. Under his 
inspiration and guardianship he made it a vital institution of 
religious instruction and a dynamo of good works. From the 
cradle roll to the post graduate course, Mr. Brown lifted the 
Sunday School to the high plane of a teaching body. He deemed 
knowledge of the Bible the very mudsill of Christianity and 
civilization. He kept abreast with the best and most modern 
methods, introduced them here, and gave himself to making them 
contribute to both the moral and mental fibre of the membership 
of this School. His guidance in better methods was only excelled 
by his example of pure living. He preached brief sermons and 
gave wise admonition and called children by word to the conse- 
cration of themselves to the Savior to whom he had early com- 
mitted himself and all he had or hoped to be; but the sermon that 
attracted and strengthened and buoyed most was his own beautiful 
life. Upon his countenance rested the glow of a life unsullied in 
youth, untainted in manhood, and glorified as he moved toward 
the sunrise of an assured immortality. 

It is the hall-mark of love when a man's name is shortened. 
In this Sunday School everybody referred to our Superintendent 
as "Joe Brown" and children called him Mr. "Joe" Brown. He 



invited by his own abounding fellowship the affection which he 
irradiated. The abounding love he gave came back to him full, 
heaped up, and running over. 

Young and old instinctively felt that he understood them and 
their problems. They knew he rejoiced in their joy and sorrowed 
with them in trouble. More than all, we loved him because he 
stood among us a loving figure with tenderness and with granite- 
like strength. He was comfort to the weary, poise to the wavering, 
support to the weak. He truly "wore the white flower of a 
blameless life," attesting that he had found the Pearl of Great 

If it had been granted to our beloved Superintendent to choose 
the manner of his passing, no end of earthly pilgrimage could 
have been more fitting. As he welcomed the entrance of a new- 
born babe into the Cradle Roll the summons came, for which 
he was ready. With the trusting faith of a child, he looked for 
the last time into the loved faces before him in this Sunday School, 
and, without pain or struggle, entered into the rest prepared for 
the people of God. His life was a benediction. His death was in 
keeping with a life hid with Christ in God. 

Sorrowing that we shall see his face no more in this hallowed 
place, the membership of this Sunday School places on record its 
devout thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for His gift to this 
School of this royal Christian leader. His life was a blessing 
while with us, and will be an inspiration as we endeavor to follow 
him in faith and works as he followed Jesus Christ. 





His was a glorious and triumphant passing into the Home of 
the blessed — a passing such as only God's angels can plan. 

We cannot estimate our loss. We shall miss his happy face and 
his cheerful words, hut the memory of his sweet spirit of loyalty 
and unselfishness, of modesty and optimism, will linger with us 
always as an inspiration and a benediction. He never found evil 
in anyone; the good alone filled his own soul. We bless the Lord 
for giving us the privilege of walking with this man of God. 

And when his summons came, the good which had radiated so 
gently from him throughout life awoke a universal chord, and all 
who knew him in every walk of life knew they loved him. He has 
left us the priceless heritage of a spotless name. 

"Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark, 
And may there be no sadness of farewell 

When I embark; 
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crossed the bar." 


Cfle s o I u t i o n s 



February 14, 1927. 

Whereas, in the death of our beloved Superintendent, Mr. Joseph 
Gc. Brown, who for more than thirty years was our matchless 
leader and ever willing counsellor; and 

Whereas, in his death we are deeply grieved and feel a loss that 
is irreparable; and 

Whereas, we shall miss his friendly greeting, his smiling face, 
his warm handclasp, his sympathetic understanding, his wise 
counsel and above all his efficient leadership : Therefore, 

Be it Resolved: 

1. That we the members of the "Workers' Council of Edenton 
Street Sunday School, in love and grateful appreciation of the 
benediction which his life has been to this Church and community, 
reconsecrate our lives to the service of God, the Church, and the 
community, as his life was consecrated. 

2. That we carry on with a new sense of loyalty and devotion 
the work that was so dear to his heart and for which he labored so 
wisely and well. 

3. That we spread on our minutes a copy of these resolutions, 
that a copy be sent to the bereaved family, and that copies be sent 
to the North Carolina Christian Advocate, the News & Observer, 
and the Raleigh Evening Times. 

Vara L. Herring 
Bessie T. Brown 
Mattie F. Reese 
Mrs. S. P. Norris 



L. 13. Cat. 

Mo. !!37 

923.573 3873 113420 

Benton Sty K.±. Church, 3- 

923373 3878 113420